UTB Eyes Foreign Revenue as Uganda Hosts Congress of Accountants

Uganda will host the 4th Africa Congress of Accountants (ACOA) slated to last four days starting on May 2 to May 5 this year at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

The event which happens every two years brings together professional accountants from across Africa, order business leaders, thought leaders, consultants, tax and investment experts among others.

This year’s ACOA will be anchored on the theme “Accountancy and Accountability: Transforming Africa’s Economies” and over 500 delegates will take part.

This was revealed by Steven Asiimwe the Executive Director Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Protazio Begumisa the President of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Uganda (ICPAU) at a press briefing held at Uganda Media Centre on Monday.

Among the high profile delegates expected is Ms. Racheal Grimes the President International Federation of Accountants, Ms. Asmaa Resmouki the President Pan Africa Federation of Accountants and Prof. P.L.O Lumumba the Director of Kenya School of Law.

At the same conference, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma the immediate former Chairperson of the African Union Commission will deliver a key note address.

“This is an opportunity for us as the accounting profession to meet, network, make partnerships for trade facilitation,” Begumisa told journalists.

He said Uganda’s opportunity to host the event is a milestone for the tourism sector and that among other objectives, ICPAU will be looking to promote Uganda’s tourism potential.

“I understand that a visitor who spends 5 days in Uganda spends USD 1,000 on average. Several players including hoteliers, food suppliers, transporters all tap into this foreign exchange,” Begumisa added.

Similarly, the UTB boss, Asiimwe mentioned that ACOA was another big opportunity for Uganda to rip foreign revenue from conference tourism.

“Ours is to ensure that these visitors who are coming for the conference get a memorable experience while in Uganda which will translate into another visit in future,” Asiimwe said.

He mentioned that “the linkage between conference tourism and the economy is critical” since these visitors will spend on accommodation, food, entertainment as well as visiting historical sites, the zoo and other tourist attractions like the source of the Nile.

“Uganda was recently ranked the most friendly and welcoming country. It therefore can’t be surprising that we are hosting such big conferences,” Asiimwe noted.

Tourism remains a significant sector in drawing in foreign revenue constituting 10% of GDP and 23% of the exports revenue income. In 2016 alone, tourism earned Uganda USD 1.3 billion.

According to UTB, Uganda’s tourism aspect of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) remains unexploited inspite of its immense potential. Asiimwe said, in 2016, MICE contributed 24.7% of the total tourism revenue with about 312,000 visitors who came to Uganda for MICE activities.

He told the press that UTB is in the process of rebranding Entebbe airport to have more tourism promotional material for arriving visitors. Many have always complained that the airport does not give enough impression of the country’s attractions as is the case with other international airports.


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